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Vocational Clarity in a Circle of Trust

At 9am on a Sunday morning, in front of a group of new acquaintances, I was shedding quiet tears. From a bluetoothed ipad, Cat Stevens sang ‘Morning has Broken’ as I regarded a carpet of tree collages on the floor of the meeting room – the product of a workshop exercise the previous day. Let  Continue Reading »

Honesty Reveals Vocation

My name is Duncan. I’m the Executive Director with the Leadership Development Initiative. I’m also a postulant for the priesthood in the diocese. In the third chapter of Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer’s book about vocation. Chapter 3 is called When Way Closes. Palmer writes that “Vocation is rooted in the Latin word for  Continue Reading »

How a Pastor’s God-Sized Dream Helped Kids Be Ready for School

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” said Eleanor Roosevelt. Thanks to Courage & Renewal, Reverend Carol Zaagsma found the courage and clarity to claim her “God-sized dream”of giving kids a safe place to learn and play during the summer. Reverend Carol was in her sixth year as a  Continue Reading »

Solstice: Holiness in Stillness & Staying

There’s a broken suitcase on the floor of my room. In the last 6 weeks I’ve travelled to Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee, Atlanta, New York, Minneapolis. Google says 9,519 miles. I’ve kept rickety luggage partially packed on the clothing-strewn floor of my Green Bay, Wisconsin home for weeks, packing and repacking for different ventures — waking  Continue Reading »

The Art of Work

Vocation is en vogue. In light of recent research that purports 87 percent of the world’s workers are more frustrated than fulfilled, the marketplace has rushed to meet our need for meaning. Its noise can be overwhelming. Are we to follow our bliss or change the world? Yes. Do we commit where we are or  Continue Reading »

Re-calibrating Your Teacher’s Heart

I’m not a big fan of going back to school. After months away from kids, I sometimes forget the gifts of my vocation and start to think that napping on the couch would be a really good way to spend the fall. But, today it happened. I clicked into gear. This kid (who was a  Continue Reading »

A Friendship, a Love, a Rescue: An Essay Celebrating Thomas Merton, by Parker J. Palmer

by Parker J. Palmer, from We Are Already One: Thomas Merton‘s Message of Hope, a new collection of essays to celebrate the Centenary of Thomas Merton’s birth, January 31, 1915. …I stand among you as one who offers a small message of hope, that first, there are always people who dare to seek on the  Continue Reading »

What Makes a Student’s Mind Come Alive?

Here in A Year at Mission Hill’s Chapter Three video, we have a clear example of a school that (one might expect) will fold Common Core and new state standards into their already-rich, thematic curriculum (rather than the other way around) — a “site-based” curriculum that provides its students the opportunity and access to their  Continue Reading »